Nun’s Murder-Invisible hands ‘dissolve’ narco-test evidence

via published on June 21, 2009

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Invisible hands’ seem to have worked once again to sabotage the CBI inquiry into the Sister Abhaya murder case. The socalled master tapes of the narco analysis test, conducted on the three accused have been tampered with, a team of technical experts in the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) here, found out.

The report of the C-DIT team will be submitted in the CJM court, Ernakulam, which is monitoring the inquiry of the case, on Monday. Sources said that there was excessive editing and the use of the dissolve technique in the narco analysis CDs of Fr Thomas M Kottoor, Fr Jose Puthrukkaayil and Sister Sephy – the three accused in the case. The findings of the committee suggest that the original master tapes were kept out of the CBI’s reach by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Bangalore.

The editing, suspected to have been carried out at FSL Bangalore, was allegedly done to provide enough loopholes for the culprits to break free from the clutches of the law. Earlier, CBI DySP R K Agrawal who had inquired into the case, informed the High Court that the FSL authorities had edited the tapes before handing over them to the CBI. But the court ignored the scientific argument of Agrawal and concluded that it was the CBI that had manipulated the tapes.

The 32-minute, 50-second CD of the narco analysis performed on Fr Kottoor was edited in 30 places. The CD of Fr Puthrukkaayil (40-minute, 55-second) was edited in 19 places and the 18-minute, 42-second CD of Sister Sephy was edited at 23 places.
Apart from this, professional techniques such as dissolve were also used on the CDs.

Moreover, in many places the audio track failed to synchronise with lip movements.The master tapes of the narco analysis were seized from the FSL Bangalore, by the CBI team led by DySP Nandakumar. The tapes were later converted to CD format and examined by the technical committee in the presence of an advocate commission appointed by the CJM court and CBI DySP Nandakumar.

The directive of CJM court, Ernakulam, to examine the authenticity of narco test master tapes, followed a petition filed by Sister Abhaya’s father Thomas Aikkarakunnel.

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